Monday, July 07, 2008

He's Like the Wind

The Sweetest Thing: as we love Paolo Bettini finally breaks the curse and takes his first win o' the season at the Tour of Austria, and even better, unlike that tactless eejit Robbie McEwen, has the grace and good sense to compliment instead of dope-slap his host country for it, dreamy Belgian babe-magnet Tom "Sniffle" Boonen gets back down to business for Quick Step just as his loyal lieutenant (and damn good rider in his own right) Gert Steegmans defects to continental squad Tinkoff. Meantime, am I the only one who thinks it's just !@#$ing stupid that Boonen's not at the Tour pounding his rivals into the pavement? Yes, coke bad, he's gotta be a proper role model to aspiring training-wheeled Toms-o'-the-future on and off the saddle, I get it. But if his, well, immoderate driving habits of late--which after all could actually *kill* someone else--have only managed to endear our pretty party boy to management and the sponsors, why should this little powdery out-of-competition indiscretion be the dealbreaker? After all, while we're on the Puritan kick, oughtn't we be ameliorating the evils of unfettered alcohol-fueled celebrations by banning champagne and having stage winners spray the podium babes with sparkling cider instead? Zero tolerance, I say--and I don't care how many collarbones you've snapped, put that Advil down, you dope fiend!

Shock the Monkey: and, as most American newspapers continue to cover the Tour de France with all the respect and fanfare due an elementary-school four-square throwdown, the NY Times gets big points this week for a remarkably decent story on the cyclists' view of the relative prestige of the Tour de France vs. the Olympics. If you're looking for even more accolades, first journalist to be able to name a single sprinter besides "[the] Norwegian" without peeking at the start list takes 'em!

Running With the Devil: as an irked Jan Ullrich calls out former teammate/ex-one-time-only-doper/current Tour contender Erik Zabel as "two-faced," a "hypocrite," and "an actor," and implies he's gonna explain exactly what he means by that in his upcoming book, even more lurid news appears to be coming down the pike: Machiavellian Ullrich puppeteer Rudy Pevenage says he's gonna speak out as soon as the history books close on this year's Grand Boucle. Whatever you're gonna do, Jan--and one can hardly begrudge taking the gloves off at this point--leave poor Klodi out of it--he's more than paid your (you heard me) dues!

Losing Prediction o' the Day: Clearly, it'll be Fabian Cancellara for the time trial tomorrow, though I'd easily pick Levi Leipheimer if he hadn't been nastily hosed out of the race by a punk-!@# petulant crybaby move by ASO. And Shameless St. Millar Defender, I do wish genuine good luck to your boy, in part because he can't be such a completely tiresome bastard to inspire such admirable loyalty on your part I suppose, but mainly because he hasn't wah-wahed anything that'd make me want to slug him this week. And Valverde better *not* win, 'cuz we all know what happened to fair angel Basso and dirty sneak Heras when *they* freakishly improved in the discipline out of nowhere. So my losing choice: bring it big George Hincapie--you know Cadel's gotta save it for the mountains!

No comments: